Next System Project

In Brief

2015, Wash; new political/economic alts for 21C; Alperovitz/Speth


(2015, Washington;

By defining issues systemically, “we seek to launch a national debate on the nature of ‘the next system’ using the best research, understanding and strategic thinking, on the one hand, and on-the-ground organizing and development experience, on the other, to refine and publicize comprehensive alternative political-economic system models that are different in fundamental ways from the failed systems of the past and capable of delivering superior social, economic and ecological outcomes.” The Next System Project: New Political-Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century (March 2015, 21p), by co-chairs Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speth, and executive director Joe Guinan, advocates “beyond growth” ecological economies (pursuing no-growth or low-growth scenarios to achieve full employment and eliminate poverty), localism, reinvigorated social democracy, participatory economic planning, reclaimed public ownership (cooperatives, community ownership, municipal enterprises), bioregionalism (to reclaim regional identity), African-American cooperative and related strategies, and community-based and system-changing ownership solutions.

Programmatic activities: 1) a widely-publicized public statement signed by a large number of leading thinkers, practitioners, and activists stating that we face a systemic crisis (e.g. Lester Brown, Harvey Cox, Barbara Ehrenreich, Van Jones, Jane Mansbridge, Bill McKibbon, Ralph Nader, Robert Reich, Jeffrey Sachs); 2) a well-publicized series of conferences bringing together proponents of different visions of far-reaching systemic change to illustrate the current state of thought; 3) regular video productions and webinars for broad general release; 4) providing fully-articulated models of how “the next city,” “the next state,” and “the next nation” might come into being based on reorganizing current realities.  Gar Alperovitz and James Gustav Speth, Co-chairs.

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